Located in Northern Gila County, putting it almost precisely in the center of the state of Arizona, Payson was founded in 1882. It was named after Senator Levi Joseph Payson who helped found its post office in 1884.
Payson held its first rodeo in 1884, and is known as the “world’s oldest continuous” having held it every year since.
The famous author Zane Grey (Riders of the Purple Sage) made his first trip to the area in 1918. He continued visiting the area frequently until 1929.
You can visit Payson via highway, State Route 87 (also known as the “Beeline Highway”. For more information about visiting Payson, please visit http://paysonrimcountry.com/The-Town.